POV, American television's longest‐running showcase for independent nonfiction films, is taking a bold leap into new forms of storytelling with the launch of six new interactive shorts. The release of POV's interactive films concludes a summer of independent short films distributed online and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts under the "PBS Indies" banner.
In the late 1950s, Marta's mother found refuge for her family in Williamsburg after leaving her village in Puerto Rico and enduring homelessness and hunger elsewhere in New York. When Marta became a single mother, she fought hard to stay in Los Sures. Now struggling to afford the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, Marta must decide whether to stay or go. 89 Steps is an interactive experience that visits Los Sures. As the viewer explores, Marta's voiceover reacts, providing guidance, descriptions and anecdotes. The project offers a deeper understanding of the pressures and incentives that force individuals to give up their homes and longstanding communities. #LivingLosSures @povdocs
Eline Jongsma and Kel O'Neill's acclaimed documentary project Empire is an investigation into the aftershocks of the first global capitalist endeavor. In the 17th century, the colonists and mercenaries of the Dutch East and West India Companies laid claim to lands stretching from the Cape of Good Hope to the Indonesian archipelago, and from New York to South America's Wild Coast. The impact of their actions can still be seen in the cultures—and bloodlines—of people and communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Empire tells the stories of individuals and communities whose lives are still in some way defined by Dutch colonialism. It is now available online as a series of four interactive experiences: Cradle, Legacy, Migrants and Periphery. #Empire @povdocs
Set three years after the calamitous meltdown, Fukushima: The Eternal Season creates an impassioned portrait of a resident as she strives to hold on to her identity and ancestral heritage while the specter of nuclear fallout looms over her. By showing the beauty and loss in Fukushima, the short film brings into focus the potentially destructive power of nuclear energy and the choices people are forced to make. Fukushima: The Eternal Season is one chapter in a four‐part feature‐length documentary project with the working title Unknown Spring Year 3. #fukushima @povdocs
Immigrant Nation is a new interactive storytelling project designed to document the United States' diverse immigrant narratives and experiences and share them with the world. Through short documentary films, live events and an online Story Hub, the project aspires to shift and deepen the way that Americans understand themselves — and one another — one story at a time. These short films have screened at Cannes and other film festivals, appeared in The New York Times Op‐Docs series and been featured on POV Digital. Nearly 500 powerful stories of immigration have been created and shared by users of the online Story Hub at www.immigrant‐nation.com. #immigrantnation @povdocs
The Most Northern Place tells of a clash of cultures and a conflict about territory during the run‐up to the Cold War, which led to the forced relocation of the Inuit population native to the town of Thule by the U.S. Army, circa 1953. Visitors to the website take small steps to explore an empty village and its surrounding landscape; it is a place that is devoid of people, a beautiful but unforgiving environment. The viewer discovers what happened in Thule step‐by‐step through the memories of the people who lived there, all those years ago. #TheMostNorthernPlace @povdocs
We take for granted that there is a "white" race in America, but rarely is the concept of whiteness itself investigated. What does it mean to be white? Can it be genetically defined? Is it a cultural construct? A state of mind? What privileges are exclusive to Caucasians? This last question is the subject of Whiteness Project: Inside the White Caucasian Box, an interactive look at how white people process their perceived advantages or disadvantages. The project is created from interviews shot in Buffalo, N.Y. that represent a cross‐section of the city's white population. An interactive graphic component uses demographic information to reveal how participants' perceptions line up with the realities of their community. #WhitenessProject @povdocs